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College Football

Jim Harbaugh fires back at satellite camp criticism by invoking ‘My America’

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Jim Harbaugh, a firebrand and provocateur throughout his coaching career but perhaps even more so since landing back in the college ranks, has been on the receiving end of a fair share of criticism from his college football coaching colleagues for how he’s holding what are referred to as “satellite camps” all over the country. To those criticisms, recently Harbaugh chose to metaphorically drape himself in a U.S. flag and invoke the freedom imparted to citizens and to travel this great land from sea to shining sea in his version of America.

“In my America, you’re allowed to cross state borders,” Harbaugh told USA TODAY. “That’s the America I know.”

Fair enough, but that hasn’t prevented a veritable cavalcade of coaches from ripping Harbaugh for infringing on their purported freedoms to conduct their football business without Harbaugh infringing upon their inalienable rights to hold gridiron dominion over their own backyards.

As noted in a report from ESPN’s Josh Moyer, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen became the latest college coach to rip Harbaugh for his many satellite camps.

“I imagine Jim Harbaugh, if he’s going to have a camp, would want to coach the kids in Michigan, the young kids in Michigan, maybe how to be better football players,” Mullen said on HeadtoHead Radio. “So why do they need one all over the place? The only purpose obviously is for recruiting, which I don’t think is the right purpose for camps.”

When asked about Mullen’s opinion, Harbaugh insisted that isn’t the case at all, saying, “I don’t know what that means, a brand,” adding that his motivation for the camps is about “sharing a love for football.”

But Mullen isn’t the only one critical of Harbaugh while speculating at his exact motivations. Among the others were Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who characterized the camps as “ridiculous,” saying, “I mean we’re not allowed to go to all-star games, but now we’re going to have satellite camps all over the country. So it doesn’t really make sense.”

In a snarky response to Saban’s savagery, Harbaugh invited every college football coach to a camp being held from June 14-17.

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No word as of yet if any of them showed up. But let’s go with none of the big guns attended, as we surely would have heard about it.